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Adam Almquist, we hardly knew ye


yave1964
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  Adam Almquist left the Grand Rapids Griffins and signed with the KHL for the next two years.

 

  I have fallen in love with the little guy, he is only 5 foot eleven and supposedly weighs around 170 pounds but I am not sure how much of his gear he is wearing when he steps on the scales. Maybe they let him keep his skates on.

 The kid is not an exceptional skater, but he is smart, his first pass is his bread and butter, in fact he was third in the AHL in assists. Not among d-men but among all players.

  He is too small to play in the NHL, that is what Kenny Holland has decided. True, he gets hurt often and rather easily, he gets pushed around by bigger players which includes about everyone, but he can run a power play and his breakout pass has top four or at the very least power play specialist written all over it.

  I have often wondered why more coaches don't carry this type of guy, obvious glaring unfixable holes in his game in defense, his size will always hurt him, no two ways around it, but I have often wondered why more coaches don't carry a seventh d-man like him, a guy who can run a power play rather than a 12th forward. A guy named Bergeron made a living in the NHL a few years ago with this type of skillset. Personally, after watching Kindl and Ericsson and Quincy stumble and fumble and bumble on the power play, Hell even Mikael Samuelsson kept getting chances on the point, I often wondered if the team would have been better served giving a kid like Almquist a chance as a specialist rather than nine minutes a night to Dan Cleary or Jordan Tootoo. Just a thought.

 

 Good luck in the KHL little guy, wish you had been given a chance to show what you can do.

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I have fallen in love with the little guy, he is only 5 foot eleven and supposedly weighs around 170 pounds

 

I am going to assume its his weight and not his stature that prevents him from being able to compete at the next level. 

 

St Louis> 5' 8

Recchi> 5' 9

Timonen> 5'10

Giroux> 5' 11

Briere> 5'9 (174 lbs)

 

If he is that good, why not move him to forward?? Yet he will need to skate. The one thing all the guys I listed is they are excellent skaters. 

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I am going to assume its his weight and not his stature that prevents him from being able to compete at the next level. 

 

St Louis> 5' 8

Recchi> 5' 9

Timonen> 5'10

Giroux> 5' 11

Briere> 5'9 (174 lbs)

 

If he is that good, why not move him to forward?? Yet he will need to skate. The one thing all the guys I listed is they are excellent skaters. 

I watch a lot of Griffins games, more than I would care to admit without being embarrassed. The wife is a very understanding woman.

 There really is a difference between AHL quality and NHL quality, by far. In the AHL the passes are more off the sideboards and out, less crisp, more tentative. Some grizzled vets have this figured out and realize the kids trepidation and have figured out how to work the middle of the ice and that is why you get a Jeff Hoggan or Darren Haydar who hang around forever putting up gaudy stats. They know how to work the system.

  Almquist is an average skater. He wont embarrass himself, but he does not stand out. Somewhere middle of the pack on his own team. What he has going for him is he has the best puck control on the team. I would even argue that it is right up there in the organization with anyone not named Datsyuk.

 Defensively, I don't think I have seen too many skinny d-men, at least as rail thin as him. I am talking like Schindler's list thin. The kid turns sideways and disappears. I have watched him play the body and bounce off and the forward entering the zone not even slow down. There was a game against Milwaukee last year where he literally hit the forward coming into the zone who did not slow, Almquist bounced off, kept his feet and went at him again trying to get the puck, Henderson (the forward) elbowed him away like a fly and Almquist came back again and finally stole the puck. 

  Great stick skills. Amazing passing ability. Average AHL skater translates as below average NHL skater. Gives it his all on defense, but is just two damn thin.

 Essentially AHLers usually have a glaring weakness, his size, strength and not quite NHL skating ability are his. But wow could this kid pass and work the puck. I just wish that the Wings could have figured out a way to have worked him into the lineup. I would much rather he get 9-10 minutes a night than one of the old slow forwards we had out there last year.

Edited by yave1964
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Essentially AHLers usually have a glaring weakness, his size, strength and not quite NHL skating ability are his. But wow could this kid pass and work the puck. I just wish that the Wings could have figured out a way to have worked him into the lineup. I would much rather he get 9-10 minutes a night than one of the old slow forwards we had out there last year.

 

How old is he? Can he develop the mass needed for the NHL. Isn't the KHL kind of like an intermediary between the AHL and NHL (so actually might do him some good)? 

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How old is he? Can he develop the mass needed for the NHL. Isn't the KHL kind of like an intermediary between the AHL and NHL (so actually might do him some good)? 

22. A brash kid, he has expressed

his frustration over the Wings wanting him back on a two way deal, he feels he has nothing more to prove in the Ahl. Someone needs to introduce him to a five thousand calorie a day diet, lol. The kid is just so smooth and calm with the puck. I hope he goes over there and puts on a few pounds, i love watching him play. He has been passed over on the organizational depth chart by Sproul and Oullet, two kids who can play and who will likely be semi regulars this season, they have size, both are big farm boys, the Wings feel they need to get bigger. When i think of Almquist, i think of Rafalski, a little d-man who took forever to get the break but who had serious offensive ability.

Edited by yave1964
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The kid is just so smooth and calm with the puck. I hope he goes over there and puts on a few pounds, i love watching him play.

 

If he goes there, do the wings retain his rights? Still an RFA, right? 

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Biggest issue with Almquist is that his skating never got better, which was probably a prerequisite in order for him to be able to succeed at the NHL level. Speed seems to ever more be a concern in the NHL, even for large players, but especially for undersized guys. I liked him in the AHL, but I do see why the Wings let him go, especially with Ouellet, Sproul, Backman, and Marchenko looking to compete for spots in the next couple of years. I wish him well in the KHL, hopefully he lights it up and eventually finds a home in the NHL somewhere.

Edited by Haliax
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